Skip to main content

Onwards and Upwards

Today I met
an old man on a ladder.
Wearing a yellow shirt
brown brogues…
too big now.

He paused near
the top rung
steadying himself
to stand on the shed roof
to clip the ivy.

Breathing hard
with one foot on the roof
the ladder slid suddenly
to the left.
As I passed
I grabbed it.

He was left stranded
one foot on the roof
and a shaky leg on the rung
which way to go?
Step up to the task
or down?

‘Are you ok?’
‘Will you hold the ladder?’
‘I will’.

Gingerly he moved his weight
lifted his elderly foot
off the ladder
onto the flat
firm roof.

‘I just have a small job to do’,
he said determined.
‘Will I leave you to it?
You know the path slopes away?’
‘I do’.